Dallas Cowboys and the 16 Biggest Bandwagon Fanbases in the NFL Today

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIJune 9, 2011

Dallas Cowboys and the 16 Biggest Bandwagon Fanbases in the NFL Today

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    Bandwagon fans are arguably the most annoying aspect of sports—they simply go from team to team depending on who's winning or who's popular. 

    Having bandwagon fans as a part of your fanbase does not demean any of the true fans—in fact, most of the biggest bandwagon fanbases also have large amounts of true fans. It's not the true fans' faults that their team is so well liked. 

    Teams who win consistently or have a star player tend to have more bandwagon fans than teams who don't win on a regular basis. 

    There are no stats to back this up; it is simply my opinion derived from my observations across the NFL

    Here are the 16 biggest bandwagon fanbases in the NFL.

     

    This article was first seen at PatriotsPlus.net. Be sure to follow Tony Santorsa on Twitter @    TonySantorsa.   

16. Philadelphia Eagles

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    As of the past year, the Philadelphia Eagles fanbase has definitely been on an increase—thanks to the resurrection of quarterback Michael Vick

    Granted, the Eagles have large amounts of true fans, but the way Vick has emerged into such a prolific passer and stellar playmaker has called for more and more "Vick followers" to join the Philly bandwagon. 

    One example of how the Eagles bandwagon has increased significantly is that Philadelphia was the most used team on the video game Madden '11 last year, according to a study done by the New York Times

15. Detroit Lions

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    In my opinion, the Detroit Lion fanbase is rather poor—year after year the team hardly sells out every home game. 

    The Lions have a rich history as they've been around since 1930, but a lot of that history can be summed of as failure. However, the lone years that Barry Sanders dominated the league, the Lions were a fairly decent football team as they were competitive in most of the 10 years of Sanders' greatness. 

    Ever since Sanders, the Lions have turned into a laughingstock and have been losing fan support left and right—but just wait, once the Lions start winning again, I'm sure that support in Detroit will skyrocket. 

14. San Francisco 49ers

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    Ever since the 1980s, the San Francisco 49ers have been one of the most well-known franchises across the world. 

    Players like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Steve Young caught the eyes of many bandwagoners across the world due to their stardom and their five Super Bowl titles from 1981-1994. 

    However, the 49ers do have a strong, loyal fanbase, as it's shown the past few seasons with the team's struggles but the stadium attendance is always above average—however, the 49ers have certainly lost a few bandwagon fans along the way with the retirements of Montana, Rice and Young. 

13. Miami Dolphins

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    The biggest reason why the Miami Dolphins have so many bandwagon fans is because one generation grew up in a time of greatness—when Dan Marino ruled the football world. 

    If you're a young kid and your local team isn't really having too much success, wouldn't you turn your eyes to someone else? Well at the time, Marino was arguably the top player in the league. 

    The Dolphins fanbase could be on the decline, simply due to the fact that Miami hasn't really done anything in the past 10 years. And in fact, the Dolphins attendance was one of the worst in the NFL last season as they only sold 90.1 percent of their tickets, which was seventh-worst. 

12. Oakland Raiders

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    Granted, Raider Nation always shows up to ever Raiders home game with many fans dressed up to fulfill the "Black Hole" effect in Oakland. However, the Oakland Raider fanbase is certainly loaded with bandwagon fans. 

    The Raiders haven't seen much success over the past few seasons and their attendance has certainly suffered, as they only averaged 46,431 fans per game in 2010 and 44,284 fans in 2009. 

    Don't get me wrong, there is a large amount of die-hard Raiders fans, but a lot of the "fair-weather" fans have definitely hopped of the bandwagon as of late. 

11. Green Bay Packers

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    The Green Bay Packers are definitely one of the NFL's most storied franchises and have one of the most loyal and well-known fanbases. However, many of these "Cheese Heads" are pure bandwagon fans. 

    The Packers have always done extremely well with filling out Lambeau Field, but who knows how many of those fans are true "Cheese Heads."

    As the Packers are the recent Super Bowl champions, expect all of those floating bandwagon fans to hop on the Pack as they're the "hot team" in football. 

10. New England Patriots

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    We all know that the New England Patriots are the most recent dynasty in the NFL—but one question: Where were all the fans prior their 2001 championship season? 

    Don't get me wrong, Boston is a great sports city, but if the team isn't doing well, then the fans aren't going to pay the money to go watch their team lose. 

    The Patriots definitely have a loyal fanbase, but as they're one of the most consistently winning teams in the league, there are definitely a lot of people across the country who are bandwagon Pats fans. 

9. New York Jets

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    Ever since head coach Rex Ryan came to the New York Jets in 2009, it's almost like the Jets organization has gone Hollywood.

    The Jets are the most recent team to be featured on HBO's Hard Knocks, so that definitely won over a bunch of fair-weather fans. 

    Ryan and the Jets are never shy to speak their mind and they're always spotlighted by ESPN and NFL Network, so it's safe to assume that a bunch of "new" Jets fans appeared on the map in the last couple of years. 

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Like the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied and well-known franchises in all of sports.

    As the Steelers dominated in the 1970s, they picked up tons of bandwagon fans along the way and with their recent success, they've probably even added more so-called Steelers fans.

    However, the real Steelers fans are some of the greatest fans out there—they have always stood by their Steelers. 

7. New York Giants

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    New York Giants fans are arguably the most on-again and off-again fanbase out there. 

    As of late, nearly every season there's a point when the majority of the Giants fanbase demands for the benching of quarterback Eli Manning—this is even after Manning led the Giants to an upset victory in Super Bowl XLII against the New England Patriots. 

    When the Giants are winning, their fanbase is strong and they always fill out the seats, but once the team starts to struggle, fans start to jump off of the Giants bandwagon. 

6. Denver Broncos

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    Ever since the Denver Broncos' lone two Super Bowl titles in the late 1990s, bandwagon fans across the country jumped right onto Denver's bandwagon. 

    Now over the past five or so seasons, the Denver Broncos haven't been a winning football team—which has definitely affected the Bronco fanbase. 

    However, as the Broncos selected one of the most popular college players of all time, Tim Tebow, many so-called "Tebow fans" have hopped back onto the Broncos fanbase as they hope to see the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback start a few games for Denver. 

5. Minnesota Vikings

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    Where were all of the Vikings fans before the days of Randy Moss? There hardly were any. 

    The Vikings have arguably some of the biggest bandwagon fans out there as once the Vikings start to lose, fans just don't show up to the games.

    However, that hasn't been the case as of late, as Minnesota made it all the way to the NFC title game in the 2009-10 season. 

4. San Diego Chargers

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    The San Diego Chargers may be some of the most uninterested fans in all of sports. 

    When the Chargers are winning and putting up huge numbers with quarterback Philip Rivers, how are they not selling out every game? 

    Sure, the Chargers didn't make the playoffs in 2010, but they were a solid football team and only ranked 21st in attendance with 65,530 fans per game. In fact, many San Diego home games have been blacked out over the past couple of seasons—now that's a disgrace. 

3. New Orleans Saints

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    The New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLIV victory over the Indianapolis Colts was definitely an amazing thing for the city of New Orleans—but don't get fooled, they're not that loyal of a fanbase.

    Thanks to the Saints Super Bowl run in 2009, their fanbase a.k.a. "Who Dat Nation" became one of the most well-known groups of fans out there—but how loyal are there?

    There are infamous stories of Saints fans showing up to the Superdome with bags over their heads because they were so ashamed of the Saints' performances.

    However, once Drew Brees came into town, he totally turned around the culture and gained a lot of bandwagon fans. 

2. St. Louis Rams

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    There's a reason why the Cardinals franchise left St. Louis for Arizona—because St. Louis just isn't a football town.

    Granted, when Kurt Warner helped make the Rams known as "The Greatest Show on Turf" back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, fans showed up to the field consistently. 

    But as of late with the Rams' struggles, the fanbase hasn't really been too loyal and hasn't shown too much interest into their team. In fact, in 2009, the Rams only managed to sell 84.6 percent of their tickets, which was fourth-worst in the league. 

    However, with the emergence of quarterback Sam Bradford, it's safe to expect that many bandwagon St. Louis fans will start showing their support soon enough. 

1. Dallas Cowboys

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    I will say that I have the utmost respect for all of the true Dallas Cowboy fans out there, but for the bandwagon Cowboy fans, I have zero respect for you.

    As the Cowboys are known as "America's Team," a lot bandwagon fans have joined their fanbase.

    In an article done by Jason Brewer of the Washington Post, he declares that the Cowboys bandwagon is 100 percent "pathetic."

    "There's a lot of reasons people hate the Cowboys but, in my opinion, the biggest is that guy wearing the Cowboys jacket in your office. Or that guy wearing the Aikman jersey in your local bar. Or that guy driving around with a Cowboys bumper sticker.

    Wherever you are in this country, you know the guy I'm talking about. He's the same guy in every state, in every town that decided to jump on the Cowboys bandwagon despite having no connection whatsoever to the city of Dallas or the state of Texas."

    If you live outside of Texas, I am sure that you can relate to Brewer's statements—I know I can.

    Maybe it's because that Dallas logo is the giant star and that it's just so well known, or maybe because actually cowboys are a significant part of our country's history, or maybe it's just because the Cowboys are a successful franchise.

    Either way, the Dallas Cowboys have the most bandwagon fans in the NFL. 

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